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Acer Aspire P3 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £550
inc VAT

It’s much faster than other £500 Windows 8 tablets, but its temperamental keyboard cradle holds it back from being the very best


11.6 in 1,366×768 display, 790g, 1.4GHz Intel Core i3-3229Y, 2.00GB RAM, 128GB disk, Windows 8

The Acer Aspire P3 is an Ultrabook hiding under the guise of a tablet. Its aluminium frame and glossy black bezel look great and the tablet is a slim 9mm thick. It’s much more streamlined than any other Windows 8 tablet we’ve seen, but it’s still a little too heavy to hold in one hand for any prolonged period of time.

Acer Aspire P3

Thankfully, the Aspire P3’s aspirations as an Ultrabook means it comes with a keyboard cradle that doubles up as a stand and carry case. Its leather backing makes it look very smart and feels like a step up from the solid plastic keyboard docks we’re used to seeing with products like this.

It’s an attractive bundle and Aspire P3’s 11.6in IPS display looks just as gorgeous. Its glossy finish really helped our solid reds, greens and blues jump out of the screen. Blacks and whites were deep and true as well, and it made a real difference in our high contrast images. We were able to see a great level of detail in all our test photos and colours remained rich and vibrant throughout. It’s one of the best tablet displays we’ve seen, and even though there’s no screen tilt available, its wide viewing angles meant we could see what was onscreen from a variety of different angles.

We were also impressed to see the Aspire P3 had a ten-point touchscreen. We would normally expect to see cheaper two- or five-point displays on a tablet of this price, but more touch points makes it makes it much easier to navigate the desktop and use touch-friendly apps from the Windows 8 Store. Its 1,366×768 resolution feels about right for the screen size, as icons are big enough to tap accurately with your fingers. This is just as well, as the keyboard cradle doesn’t have a touchpad, so you’ll need to use the touchscreen to open files and browse the web if you don’t have a mouse.

Acer Aspire P3

The Aspire P3 is quite light on ports, as all you get is a single USB3 port, a micro HDMI video output and a combined headphone and microphone jack. You’ll have to use the USB port to charge the Bluetooth keyboard as well, so this might not always be available for other USB devices if you want to transfer files and use the keyboard at the same time, for example.

Acer Aspire P3

Its two integrated speakers are located on the bottom side of the tablet. We were quite impressed with its sound quality overall, as we could hear a little bit of bass as well as a reasonably full body of sound, but they had a tendency to become slightly muffled when we placed the tablet in the keyboard cradle. They’re not the best speakers, but they’re certainly better than other laptop speakers we’ve heard.

Acer Aspire P3

A 5-megapixel camera sits on the rear of the tablet. Our outdoor shots were a little hazy in direct sunlight, but on the whole they showed lots of detail and had very accurate colours. Noise was minimal, but this increased quite a lot when there was less light available in our indoor photos. It coped very well when all the main overhead lights were on, but there was a noticeable amount of rainbow-coloured speckle when we switched over to our side lights, and it only grew worse when we turned them all off and relied solely on our fan lights. We wouldn’t recommend filming any video in low lighting conditions either, as it really struggled to focus and keep up with moving objects in our video test. Its level of detail was also quite patchy, with most objects appearing slightly blurry onscreen.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ****
Processor Intel Core i3-3229Y
Processor clock speed 1.4GHz
Memory 2.00GB
Memory slots 1
Memory slots free 0
Maximum memory 2GB
Size 11x191x295mm
Weight 790g
Sound Realtek HD Audio
Pointing device touchscreen


Viewable size 11.6 in
Native resolution 1,366×768
Graphics Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000
Graphics/video ports micro HDMI
Graphics Memory 128MB


Total storage capacity 128GB
Optical drive type none

Ports and Expansion

USB ports 1
Bluetooth yes
Wired network ports none
Wireless networking support 802.11n
PC Card slots N/A
Supported memory cards none
Other ports headphone, microphone


Carrying case Yes
Operating system Windows 8
Operating system restore option restore disc
Software included N/A
Optional extras N/A

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £550